Paul Daley confident for Bellator return this year, wants War Machine fight


Fresh off another knockout win overseas, heavy hitter Paul Daley believes he will have a visa issue cleared up this year to pave his return to fight in the States under the Bellator MMA banner.

Daley (32-12-2 MMA, 1-0 BFC) this past weekend stopped Rodrigo Ribeiro with a second-round TKO at Dubai Fighting Championship 4's main event in United Arab Emirates. It was his second fight outside Bellator after visa issues put on hold his return from the United Kingdom to fight in the United States.

Daley debuted with Bellator in July 2012 as part of the promotion’s “Summer Series” with a first-round TKO of Rudy Bears. He was supposed to be part of the Season 8 welterweight tournament in a fight against War Machine that was voted on by Bellator fans. But a War Machine injury and Daley’s visa trouble nixed that.

But if all goes well, Daley believes he could even fight on the 2013 “Summer Series,” either on the July event or in August.

“Hopefully things are looking really good,” Daley on Tuesday told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “I’d love to go back to Bellator this year. I’m still under contract with them. I’d like to get in one of the ‘Summer Series’ cards and get the fight with War Machine – the fans voted for that fight, and it would be good to give them that fight. And then jump straight into the welterweight tournament (in the fall).”

Daley wouldn’t elaborate on the precise cause of the visa issue, which was reportedly due to his participation in a bar fight. Daley, however, in December released a statement saying that was not accurate.

“Some people have been going to America for 10 years, and then something crept up and they’re denied a visa – it’s along those lines,” Daley said on Tuesday. “It’s nothing that’s not going to be sorted out, and hopefully I’ll be back to Bellator this year.”

If the visa issue still sidelines him from a Bellator return, it won’t be ideal, of course. But Daley said he’ll remain active both in Europe and in the Middle East if he can’t get clearance to come to America to fight under his Bellator deal.

“If the visa’s going to be delayed, you’ll see me fighting more or less immediately – July, then again in September and maybe one more before the close of the year,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities. Right now the ones that are more interesting to me are coming from the Middle East and Asia. The last two fights I have this year are more than likely going to be one of those regions (if I’m not in Bellator).”

For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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